Thursday, April 9, 2009

Muscovado, a flavorful, healthful sugar

What is a muscovado?
The word muscovado is derived from the Spanish words "mas" and "acabado" , which means more and more finished, respectively, then conjugated to mascavado.

It is called more finished "mascavado" because it does not require the addition of molasses, since molasses was never removed in the first place.

What is the difference between muscovado and white sugar and brown sugar?
Locals would refer to white sugar as central sugar while brown sugar as centrifugal sugar. This is primarily because both kinds of sugars pass through a centrifuge to separate the molasses from the syrup. To make white sugar,the syrup is filtered through a centrifuge, then granulated by crystallizing and milling it into homogeneous crystals. Brown sugar is produced the same way, however, molasses is added back in, hence its brown texture and color. Muscovado on the otherhand, has never passed through a centrifuge. Its molasses is never extracted from the sugar syrup, hence, it is also known as raw non-centrifugal sugar.

Because muscovado retains the molasses and has not passed through filtration process, it is considered to be healthful, flavorful, softer and stickier and the crystals are a little coarser, and above all, all-natural. It is rich in iron and has higher content of vitamins and minerals compared to the refined ones. With the global trend towards wellness and low-fat, low sugar diets, muscovado is gaining its popularity among chefs worldwide. The once treated as "lowly" relative of refined sugars is now slowly becoming the "rising star" in the sugar family.

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